Posts Tagged ‘Cascade’

DEBUNKING: San Francisco Chronicle’s Repeated Claims of How “Mountain Biking Started on Mount Tamalpais”

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Here you go:

“How mountain biking’s mega-success started on Mount Tamalpais”

Right here:

“When Joe Breeze did what thousands of Mill Valley kids had done before him — stood on Miller Avenue across the street from the 2 a.m. Club and stuck out his thumb to hitch a ride — he didn’t know he was changing history.

Let’s chalk some of this up to a kind of CW Nevius-style local rah-rahing.

Now let’s compare that with a less patriotic, a less Bay Area-centric source like Wiki.*

What’s that, it was only the “mega-success” of MTB what got started on Mt. Tam?

Al right, but that means Cascade Canyon Road is on “a western ridge of Mt Tam …”

“They all came together to race Repack, a steep downhill drop on a western ridge of Mount Tam, plummeting 1,300 feet in 2.1 miles.”

…as opposed to it being on nearby Pine Mountain, right?

Here’s the map:

Captureufkjkjk copy

So on this map (which isn’t exactly pointing north, oh well) the peaks of Mt Tam are on the lower right, and Pine Mountain is on the left across a chain of lakes, and Cascade Canyon Fire Road (aka “Repack” – you can’t expect Marin Co guv’mint/The Feds to honor that bike-centric name) is in the upper left.

Here’s another map, with Mt Tam way off your screen, down and to the right – knock yourself out.

Anyway at least now, a Chron writer is showing his/her work. So, if you think Pine Mountain / the San Geronimo Ridge / Cascade Canyon Road/Repack is a part of Mt. Tam, then, maybe mountain biking gestated, a little, on Mount Tam, sort of.

But if not, then not.

I’ll tell you, IRL, Repack is way far away from the West, Middle, and East peaks of Mt Tam, so that’s why I’m saying mountain biking was NOT born on Mt Tam.


Repack Trail on Pine Mountain in Marin County, California – the Birthplace of Mountain Biking

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

This is it, the Birthplace of Modern Mountain Biking, on Pine Mountain (not Mount Tam, sorry Wiki) near Fairfax, California in bucolic Marin County. Read all about it:

The first downhill time-trial race took place in Fairfax, California on October 21, 1976 on a fireroad now referred to as Repack Road, due to the need to repack hub bearings after a descent (the hub brakes used at the time would overheat, causing the grease within the hub to break down). Ten riders descended 1300 feet of Repack in about 5 minutes; the winner, Alan Bonds, was also the only one to make it to the finish line. The first bikes used for descending were known as “clunkers” or “paperboy bikes”: coaster brake cruisers using balloon tires first imported to America by Ignatz Schwinn. By 1979, two organizers and competitors of the Repack downhill, Charlie Kelley and Gary Fisher founded the company which named the sport, MountainBikes.

It looked like this. Gary Fisher, the Founding Father of Mountain Bikes, still holds the speed record with a time 4:22. (He also caught 36 in a single lunch break, but that’s another story.)

So, here it is. From top left to right middle, above the Meadow Club Golf Course and Lakes Bon Tempe and Alpine. Click to enlarge. Or, see a bird’s eye view if you prefer.